Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993): S01E06 – Captive Pursuit


“Captive Pursuit” is the sixth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

The episode was written by executive producer Michael Piller and Jill Sherman Donner, and was directed by Corey Allen.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. In this episode, Tosk (Scott MacDonald) arrives on the station and befriends Chief Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney), but is soon pursued by the Hunter (Gerrit Graham), who follows him through the wormhole.

Scott MacDonald would later appear in several further roles in the franchise as well as a recurring character during season three of Star Trek: Enterprise. Graham, who appears in a guest role as the Hunter, had previously been considered for the main cast role of Odo. Michael Westmore designed the make-up for Tosk to resemble an alligator; his initial design for the Hunters was changed for budgetary reasons.

The episode was praised by the cast and crew, and received a Nielsen rating of 12.9, placing it as one of the four most watched episodes of the first season. Critical reception was mostly positive, with critics approving of Meaney and MacDonald’s performances, but disliking the formulaic nature of the plot. The episode won an Emmy Award for best make-up for a series.


A damaged, unidentified vessel from the Gamma Quadrant docks at Deep Space Nine for repairs. Its reptilian pilot, identified only as Tosk (Scott MacDonald), is the first known life-form from the Gamma Quadrant to visit the station. Chief Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) suspects Tosk is running from something, due to evidence of weapons fire on his vessel. O’Brien befriends Tosk and tries to help him repair his ship. However, Tosk attempts to steal from a weapons locker and is put in a holding cell by Security Chief Odo (RenĂ© Auberjonois).

Uniformed aliens arrive in the Alpha Quadrant through the wormhole, beam onto the DS9 promenade, and start a phaser battle with a team led by Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks). The aliens fight their way into the brig where Tosk is being held. Sisko, O’Brien and Odo enter the room as one of the aliens, the Hunter (Gerrit Graham) removes his helmet and expresses his disappointment to Tosk for capturing him alive; Tosk, it transpires, is the aliens’ quarry. He commands Sisko to lower the forcefield and release Tosk, but Sisko refuses. They discuss the issue and the Hunter agrees to place the Bajoran Wormhole out of bounds for future hunts. As much as he detests this practice, Sisko believes that under the Prime Directive he must release Tosk to the aliens.

After talking to Quark (Armin Shimerman) in his bar, O’Brien realises that he can change the rules of the hunt before Tosk is taken away by the Hunters. He lies to Odo and convinces him to release Tosk into his care, claiming it is a Starfleet, not a Bajoran matter. O’Brien escorts the Hunter and Tosk to an airlock, but the Chief has it rigged to overload, knocking out the Hunter, allowing O’Brien to help Tosk escape. In Ops, Sisko is informed about the situation and tells Odo to pursue the duo at a leisurely pace, giving O’Brien time to help Tosk escape the station with the Hunters in pursuit. Later, an angry Sisko reprimands O’Brien for his actions; the Chief expresses his surprise at not being apprehended immediately by Odo. Sisko claims that he must have slipped up and smiles wryly after O’Brien has left his office.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Corey Allen.
  • Writer(s): Jill Sherman Donner.
  • Release Date: 31 January 1993.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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